QuiltCon Wrap-Up


So, QuiltCon. Wow. What can I say that hasn’t been said already? What can I show you that you haven’t already seen?

I’ll tell you what. Let’s keep it simple.

Here are some of my favorite moments:

Walking down Sixth Street in Austin with Kim, Faith, and a quilt. These two ladies are a riot. I couldn’t have asked for better companions for a walk down Austin’s weirdest street. (If only Katie and Sukie had been there!) Stop by Kim’s blog to read about our adventure. : )

“Quilting the Negative Space” with Angela Walters. Although I need a lot of practice at most of the designs Angela taught us, I’m looking forward to renting the long-arm at my local quilt shop and trying out some of my new skills.

Katie and I running into Jay McCarroll at the elevators of the hotel. I’m a huge Project Runway fan, and nothing can ever top Season 1 in my book, so chatting with Jay like he was “just” another blogger was surreal and kind of a blast. It was all I could do not to be a fangirl and accost him for a picture, but I’m glad we opted for a chat about Katie’s quilt instead. : )

Seeing this beautifully-styled shot of my prize-winning Lifesavers quilt in the EZ Quilting booth. I’m still blown away by the reception this little quilt has gotten out there in the world!

Laughing with my roommates Katie and Faith in our hotel room at the end of each day.

Top left: zigzigzag by Allison Chambers; Top right: 2+2 by Colleen Wooten; Bottom left: Neutral and Neon by Latifah Saafir; Bottom right: Big Love by Nova Seals 

Taking in the quilts at the show by myself, and just thinking about design. The Modern Traditionalism category might always be what feels like my “home,” but the graphic designer in me was bowled over by many of the more minimalist quilts in the show. My biggest take-away from QuiltCon is that I want to work on combining the Modern Traditionalism genre that I love with a more minimalist, pure-design aesthetic that appeals to me so much on a visual level.

Hand-quilted Single Girl quilt by Denyse Schmidt

Seeing Denyse Schmidt’s quilts, listening to her keynote speech, and thinking about how much her creative journey has affected my own. Would I have found my way to quilting without her? Hard to say. About ten years ago, I had never sewn a stitch in my life and had given exactly zero thoughts to quilting, when I saw a spot about Denyse on Martha Stewart Living. The moment I saw Denyse’s bold, graphic quilts, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I have to learn how to do that. Almost at the exact moment I had that thought, another emotion crept in: Who are you kidding? You will never learn how to do that. You don’t know the first thing about sewing. Figuring it all out would be a monumental task. But this weekend, I found myself face to face with the very quilts that inspired me to take up this hobby—and my own quilts were hanging just a few rows away, in the same show.

So QuiltCon reminded me that nothing is too monumental. Just ask the Modern Quilt Guild board members who for months poured their hearts and souls into planning this incredible event. Ask the attendees, who came from all over the country and the world just for this. The excitement and inspiration was palpable in Austin last weekend. I feel like modern quilting is truly on the verge of something big, and I’m just so very happy to be a part of it.

Thank you to all of the organizers and volunteers for putting on such an amazing event! And thank you to my wonderful husband for holding down the fort while I was gone. I can’t wait for 2015.

17 replies
  1. Sara
    Sara says:

    It is AMazing what inspirational people and their work can do to someone! I had that happen to me 5 years ago when my attitude was such that "I will never sew!" Boy! Wrong….Wrong..wrong!

    I love how you shared a lot of the personal feelings you had while there. It made it seem that much more real to me:):):)

  2. Jenny Squawk
    Jenny Squawk says:

    Were you in the Saturday afternoon negative space workshop? If so, I didn't recognize you from here. I'm not very good at flat, internet space to real space. I have the blue highlights and was hesitant about FMQing without a pedal.

    As for QuiltCon after posts, this one is good. I still have a few more to write my one of my kids is sick today. We'll see how far I can go.

  3. Esch House Quilts
    Esch House Quilts says:

    What a wonderful story, Lee, about seeing the quilt that inspired you to quilt – and your own quilt winning a prize in the same show! It must have been a real "pinch me" moment 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with the minimalism ideas too.

  4. FlourishingPalms
    FlourishingPalms says:

    I'm so glad you got to attend QuiltCon, and have that wonderful revelation about where you were, where you've been, and now, where you're going! It's good to be introspective once-in-a-while. We all struggle with the search to identify ourselves in this modern universe, even if we've been sewing for way more than ten years. I don't think we ever completely "arrive." Look how you"re continuing to evolve, now take on longarm quilting. I wish you the fulfillment of your potential!

  5. Hilary
    Hilary says:

    I couldn't agree with you more about how inspiring Quiltcon was, and I only went for a day on Thursday! I've just started quilting so I was really intimidated at first by the amazingness of all the quilts. But I came away so inspired, and my goal is to have a quilt in the show by the next Quiltcon 🙂

  6. Denise in PA
    Denise in PA says:

    Great recap! I had to cancel my trip to Quiltcon at the last minute, so I'm loving reading everyone's stories! The Philly Modern Guild hosted Jay McCarroll in 2011 and he gave a great presentation! So cool you got to you meet him – a very nice, down to earth guy! Your Denyse Schmidt story gave me goosebumps! o:)


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